Ophion – Antediluvian

Antediluvian Album Cover Art

Ophion – Antediluvian
Nefast Films Records
Release Date: 02/09/2020
Running Time: 37:43
Review by Victor Augusto
9.5/10

The magic of the music! Yes! That was my first impression when I heard Ophion for the first time. Among hundreds of things that I could list, one of them that defines “The magical side of Heavy Metal or Rock music” is meeting new and good people, who share the same passion for it. If it weren’t for those people, I probably would never know about many incredible bands around the world. Ophion are another case of lovely people who love good music. And hearing this album just once was enough to realize that I was in front of one of the best albums I’ve heard in my life, but also that I have an extremely hard job to do, where reviewing it is concerned!

Maybe the first thing that will pop up in your mind when you push the play button for this album is a Behemoth musical influence with them. For most of the people, they will probably feel it, but for me things worked different. My reference of Ophion’s sonority on first hearing them was Ukrainian band, 1914, and I will explain why. Does the title “Blackened Death Metal” mean something to you? For me, it means the kind of music that 1914 play. Of course, I am talking about two bands who explore Death Metal, in an intense dark atmosphere, that comes from the subject they are talking about. In Ophion’s case, the dark atmosphere is not the war, but another context.

I’m not clever enough to understand what they are exploring in the lyrics, but what I could understand is something like Atlantean history, with a lot of other things involved. All the songs have a very deep interpretation of these subjects. It is epical, and heavy at the same time. Imagine all the aggressiveness from good Death Metal, allied with Black Metal sounds, from bands similar to Marduk. That’s how I would describe Ophion, but again, with a hugely different context to the lyrics, when compared with these other mentioned bands.

According to guitarist Focalor, who, alongside the singer Monarch, took part in an EMQ’s interview for Ever Metal (read the interview here), the meaning of band’s name is something like “a name that originates from a treatise entitled Ophiolatreia, on the universality and worship of the serpent, as well as another work, now lost, but mentioned therein, by Pherecydes Tyrus named Theology of Ophion.” Well, I guess I could not even dare myself to enter into exploring the band’s thematic, but don’t be afraid to watch the videos on their YouTube channel. You will be amused.

Musically, the band plays exactly what I described about their genre. Most of the time it’s extremely Death Metal. Sometimes, the ‘blackened’ part appears more, as dragged riffs, or vocal lines through Monarch’s interpretations, alongside bass lines typical of a few Black Metal bands. For me, the first three songs on “Antediluvian” are enough to show how powerful Ophion’s compositions are. ‘Panophion’, ‘Kalassa’ and ‘Atlantean Gates’! What a killer way to start an album! Especially ‘Atlantean Gates’! It is the best song on the album in my opinion. It also carries a good video which helps you understand the bands visuals and concept.

After the beautiful acoustic instrumental ‘Dissolution…And Resurgence’, that shows a very technical side to Ophion, we get ‘Grand Babylonia’, that has an easy-to-understand chorus, and then the remarkable riffs from the extreme song ‘The Course Of Empire’ right after. Then, as the album nears the end, the song ‘Theology’ appears, full of melodies alongside chaotic spirit from the music driving it into a faster and more extreme song. The bonus track ‘In The Night Of Ages’ keeps the same heavy spirit.

It is the first time I’ve heard Heavy Metal coming from the Dominican Republic. But I don’t care where the music comes from, as long as it’s great, which this is! Ophion really shocked me on the first listening. It is heavy, dense, and extreme. The band have given this album good production and shown great care for the composition. As a result, we are in front of an amazing and complex album, but one that’s easy to digest at the same time. I was a little skeptical about finding a new & amazing band that could shock me as Ophion have done. But now I am a new fan of them, for sure.

‘Atlantean Gates’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Panophion
02. Kalassa
03. Atlantean Gates
04. Dissolution…And Resurgence
05. Grand Babylonia
06. The Course Of Empire
07. Theology
08. In The Night Of Ages (Bonus Track)

LINE-UP:
Focalor – Guitars
Monarch – Vocals
Wolv – Guitars

LINKS:

Ophion Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with OPHION

Ophion Logo

EMQ’s with OPHION

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Dominican Republic based Extreme Metal band, Ophion. Huge thanks to, Focalor and Monarch, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

We are Focalor and Monarch of the band Ophion and we play extreme metal, or, as some would prefer to say, Blackened Death Metal. The band was founded sometime in 2017 with the intention of creating music centered around a series of concepts ancillary and very generally summed up by the name of the band.

How did you come up with your band name?

Focalor: The name originates from a treatise entitled Ophiolatreia on the universality and worship of the serpent, as well as another work, now lost, but mentioned therein, by Pherecydes Tyrus named Theology of Ophion.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

Focalor: We hail from the Dominican Republic, even though Monarch is currently based in Spain.

The metal scene in the Dominican Republic can be understood as an ebbing and flowing of sorts, with some periods of activity driven by particular bands and supporters, who carry the scene for some time, and then retreat into inactivity, giving way to other small waves of bands and supporters, albeit with the occasional ‘survivors’. It should be remarked that extreme metal, I.e., death and black, have proven to be the most enduring.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Focalor: Ophion’s debut album “Antediluvian” was released a short while ago, on 2nd September. More recently, we’ve published a drum cam for ‘Panophion’, as well as a live session of sorts for ‘Kalassa’. We are currently working on a concept video for the track Atlantean Gates.

‘Kalassa’ (Lyric Video)

‘Panophion’ (Drum Cam Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Focalor: Dissection, Deathspell Omega, Behemoth

Monarch: As far as vocal style and arrangements, I’d say Nagash from Troll, Thebon ex-Keep of Kalessin, Satyr from Satyricon and Attila from Mayhem. However, as for focus on lyrical content, doubtless, Dani Filth.

What first got you into music?

Focalor: When I was about five, I was completely seized by guitars at music shops, after having discovered, of course, bands such as Metallica, and their “Black” Album and Black Sabbath’s “Heaven And Hell”, which I had received as a gift from my mother. Later on, at about 9, I came to discover other bands like In Flames and At the Gates – I remember being filled with a desire to dominate my instrument more fully, you know; and, when I reached my 13th year, I put together my first band: Soul of Death.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Focalor: Ihsahn (Emperor)

Monarch: Keep of Kalessin

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Focalor: Wacken Open Air. I really like how so many subgenres are brought together in one place,  the audience’s incredible energy and scenography, lights, sounds, the whole deal.

Monarch: Beyond the Gates. There’s something about Norway.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Focalor: Beer!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Focalor: Thank you for supporting us and long life to metal!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Focalor: Jon Nödtveidt de Dissection

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Focalor: We both appreciate the creative and recording processes. But not being able to fully live off it is quite unfortunate.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Focalor: More opportunities for bands to make the art economically profitable.

Monarch: No room for weakness in extreme metal. Go listen to it.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Focalor: Dissection – “Storm Of The Light’s Bane”

Monarch: Covenant – In Times Before the Light

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Focalor: Digital possession can never replace the value of physical ownership. Vinyl or CD’s.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Focalor: Destrucción Masiva 2017

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Focalor: Sound engineer, photography, and video production for metal bands

Monarch: Music should not impede one’s other industries.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Focalor: My band brethren.

What’s next for the band?

Focalor: Finish music video for ‘Atlantean Gates’ and continue working on new music for the next album.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.ophion-official.bandcamp.com
www.open.spotify.com/album/3dM33JvJLstCIgcxfg1O2e
www.youtube.com/channel/UCrBJQKz3pQh53ungXTWw7YA
www.facebook.com/temple.of.ophion

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Focalor: A Cuiskit? Nay, not all problems can be solved by the mixing of parts…

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

First of all, we have to thank for the support in the Europe scene, waiting this way also to get in touch deeper in other countries, also letting all you know we are currently working on our new material, let’s keep in touch and long live to metal.

Ophion Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.